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Sawyer Sues Atari

Atari Facing Lawsuit by Rollercoaster Creator (thanks Frans and Gamecloud) has word that RollerCoaster 3 Tycoon creator Chris Sawyer is suing Atari for unpaid royalties from the mega-selling theme-park sim. The $4.8 million figure named in the lawsuit is impressive enough on its own, but is dwarfed by the royalties the designer has already received:

Of the $180 million generated by RollerCoaster Tycoon, Sawyer received around $30 million, but he says this is shy of the figure he ought to have received.

Lawyers have been wrangling about where the court case should be heard, because Sawyer is based in Britain. It's finally been given the go-ahead for a hearing in London.

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46 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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46. Re: They could be worse. Nov 9, 2005, 21:18 MacD
 
Stop trolling; dsmart is an arsehole who makes shitty games, we all know that.

But on the other hand, he did make a reasonably on-topic comment (moreso than yours), and he is probably making a living selling his games.

Your comment is as irritating as the idiots who are saying that Sawyer should not be pissed at being underpaid.

Back on-topic: Wow. And they say the garage-game-making model is dead. I wonder how much of that money went right back into his company though. Artists are expensive, especially if they have to have their own software (you don't give freelancers company licenses of 3dsmax/soundforge), as is engine tech.

I'd also be pretty interested in how much the others are worth; Wright, Specter, Carmack. How lucrative is the gamedev-biz if you own the company? I just re-read the Trilobyte eulogy on gamespot, so I'm curious as to how much real money the average company owner gets (ie cash, not money re-invested in their company, or split with the silent partners/investors).

 
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45. Re: They could be worse. Nov 9, 2005, 17:34 Riley Pizt
 
And what "so-called" games have you created, Riley?
I have created no substandard, crappy, bug-filled, reviled, or laughably bad games which would fit the "so-called games" moniker as Derek Smart has.

You also don't have to be a gourmet chef to know when you've eaten a bad meal. The vomit is evidence enough.

This comment was edited on Nov 9, 17:36.
 
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44. Re: hmmm. Nov 8, 2005, 23:10 Hump
 
I'm pretty stunned myself by the people that say he should be happy with the 30 million and are accusing him of being a prick for fighting for the 5 he feels he is owed.

Given a choice for siding with a lone dev who has the balls to get off his rear and make his fortune or a group of empty suits who would withold postage from their own mothers to impress shareholders guess who I'm going with?

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43. Principle! Nov 8, 2005, 23:08 Narf2029
 
It's not the cash, it's the principle. It's also the idea that if Atari gets away with it, other publishers will probably also think they can get away with it.

--Infantryman
Proud to be part of the ACASM.

"Is it so hard to teach a child not to shoot people?"
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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42. Re: money Nov 8, 2005, 23:01 Zoomboy27
 
AND do you KNOW how much it costs for sharks with fricking laser-beams attached to their fricking heads. That 4 million dollars may not be fricking well-spent but the gross revenues were well-fricking earned by Sawyer for the Publisher.
GO Sawyer GO

This comment was edited on Nov 8, 23:04.
 
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41. Re: They could be worse. Nov 8, 2005, 22:58 Paranoid Jack
 
"They would have an even worse reputation if they had ever published one of your so-called games."

And what "so-called" games have you created, Riley?

Well?

 
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40. Re: hmmm. Nov 8, 2005, 21:05 Prez
 
I have GOT to make me one of them there Tycoon games...

 
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39. Re: hmmm. Nov 8, 2005, 20:01 dubfanatic
 
Atari Exec: I SAID GOOD DAY!

--
Sounds a lot worse coming from Atari doesn't it?


Now you are making me think that Atari is run by Willy Wonka.


 
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38. Re: No subject Nov 8, 2005, 18:53 Michael Bolton's hair dresser
 
Holy shit I had no idea that guy was worth that much.  
Dr. Michael Bolton's Hairdreser PhD, MD, LLP, DDS
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37. No subject Nov 8, 2005, 17:28 jomisab
 
It could have been like a scene from the movie Paycheck. "What do you mean where's your money Mr. Sawyer?? You signed away your rights weeks ago -- here's your signature." "No, that's not my signature...why would I do something like that?!"

 
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36. Re: They could be worse. Nov 8, 2005, 16:51 random.thought
 
OHHHH SNAP! Riley burn!

 
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35. They could be worse. Nov 8, 2005, 16:46 Riley Pizt
 
ps: Lest the world forget, Atari used to be Infogrammes. They already had a bad rep to begin with.
They would have an even worse reputation if they had ever published one of your so-called games.

 
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34. Re: money Nov 8, 2005, 16:02 nin
 
If it was you, would you think that 5 mil they owe you is better off in their pocket or yours?

Exactly...

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33. Re: money Nov 8, 2005, 15:39 Jaenos
 
HEY! The man worked hard on the game and was expecting to get his Gold-plated Shark Tank Poolside Bar this week, now he is going to have to go without and the parties will thus be lame.

Man, would you want to be the person to explain to the guests there is no Gold-plated Shark Tank Poolside Bar ?!

 
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32. Re: money Nov 8, 2005, 15:02 Halsy
 
That's all fine and dandy I just think it's kind of OBSCENE when he's already sitting on $30 MILLION, that's all.

If it was you, would you think that 5 mil they owe you is better off in their pocket or yours?


"Sheriff Hank Keough: I brought a pork chop for luck. Maybe you could hang it around your neck.
Hector Cyr: That's sweet. Maybe later you can chew the bark off my big fat log."
 
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31. ...nothing new Nov 8, 2005, 14:32  dsmart 
 
This is nothing new. Most publishers - routinely - screw developers out of royalties. It just so happens that not many developers have the resources to bring suits. Since these royalties are for 1999-2003, I can imagine just much time, effort and energy Sawyer has already spent in the past few years trying to get it sorted out.

Heck, we're still fighting with Dreamcatcher over royalty discrepancies going back to 2002. And pretty soon, we're going to sue them.


ps: Lest the world forget, Atari used to be Infogrammes. They already had a bad rep to begin with.
This comment was edited on Nov 8, 14:33.
 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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30. Re: hmmm. Nov 8, 2005, 14:17 Quaternion
 
Nice one!

Here's another take on it.

Sawyer: Hey Bruno, I'm missing 4.8 mil out of my royalty payments.

Bonnell: Uhhh... Your check is in the mail.

6 months later.

Sawyer: Bruno, I still haven't received that check. Please send me the royalties you owe me asap.

Bonnell: Dude, we sent you that check. Maybe you should sue the postal service. They messed up and lost your check.

Sawyer: Just cancel the check and send another one.

Bonnell: uuhhh well, you see, we're a little strapped for cash right now. We'll send you another one when it's convenient for us. (mumbles: never)

Sawyer: Maybe I should sue you for withholding payment.

Bonnell: Hey! Who the hell do you think you are? We did you a fucking favor by publishing your game. You should be down on your fucking knees, sucking my cock and paying me for publishing your game. Do you know how many strings I had to pull to give your game some shelf space at Walmart?

Sawyer: It's not my problem if gamers are starting to realize that most of the games you publish suck ass, because you won't fund your developpers properly and force them to push unfinished turds out the door, which makes Walmart a little cautious about granting you shelf space. Give me my money, baldy!

Bonnell: *&*#*$&##*($&*&@@&#$^$@(*&!!!!!!! I'll kill you man! I'll kill you!

Sawyer: Bring it on, BITCH!

 
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29. Re: hmmm. Nov 8, 2005, 14:17 aldo_14
 
I'm pretty stunned myself by the people that say he should be happy with the 30 million and are accusing him of being a prick for fighting for the 5 he feels he is owed.

Sour grapes... pure and simple a major case of jealousy if you ask me.

Go get'em Sawyer, get that 5 million and have a fucking party with it for all of us would ya?

Personally, I don't have a problem with him asking for the money (assuming of course it is money he's rightfully owed, which is kind of the whole crux of the court case); I'm just quite surprised and - dare I say - impressed with the amount he's made.

Especially as he's AFAIK essentially a sole trader with only some outsourced artist to help him make these games.

But it's of course not fair to criticise someone for wanting their full pay, regardless of how much they've made already. It's not as if he's taking out of the pockets of starving orphans, after all.

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28. ,,, Nov 8, 2005, 14:10 theyarecomingforyou
 
I can't believe people can say he doesn't need it... the amount it costs to develop games these days, particularly ones that go against the flow and try and do something original, is very high, running up into tens of millions. It's the difference between a Rollercoaster Tycoon and a Zoo Tycoon.

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27. Re: hmmm. Nov 8, 2005, 14:00 G-Man
 
I'm pretty stunned myself by the people that say he should be happy with the 30 million and are accusing him of being a prick for fighting for the 5 he feels he is owed.

Sour grapes... pure and simple a major case of jealousy if you ask me.

Go get'em Sawyer, get that 5 million and have a fucking party with it for all of us would ya?

 
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46 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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